August 15, 2005

1955 Mille Miglia 300 SLR will bid farewell at Pebble Beach

Sir Stirling Moss, Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
Sir Stirling Moss, Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Click image to enlarge

Pebble Beach, California – Mercedes-Benz will present a memorable “farewell” display at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 21, as the 300 SLR driven to victory by Stirling Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia road race in Italy makes its final appearance in North America before retiring to the new Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Considered one of the most beautiful racecars of all time, the 300 SLR used an inline eight-cylinder, 3.0-litre Grand Prix engine that produced 310 horsepower. The body was made of sheet magnesium, which was lighter than aluminum.

Moss will be reunited with the car at the Pebble Beach event; he set a course record in the 1955 Mille Miglia that was never broken. Along with navigator Dennis Jenkinson, he won the race in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds at an average of 97.96 mph (157.6 km/h), nearly 10 mph (16 km/h) faster than the previous course record.

The 300 SLR will be shown with a replica of its transporter, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz carrier that held the race-car on its bed. The original was scrapped in 1967; the replica is as near to original as possible, since blueprints of the original did not exist. The reconstruction project was supervised by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre and took seven years, working from old photos, internal memos and reports. The transporter had “Max. Speed 105 mph” painted on its rear fenders, as it was capable of that speed itself.

Following its Pebble Beach appearance, the 1954 transporter will be returned to Germany with the 300 SLR. The pair will be permanently displayed together in the new museum, scheduled to open in March 2006.

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